As the season nears the end for the Angels, discussions are ramping up about where the club goes from here.
Aside from the obvious goal of “getting better”, there are some clear questions the Angels will have to answer. Who is going to be the general manager following the season? Where and how are they going to acquire more impact pitching? How will they add immediate talent to make the most of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon’s primes? What about a Dylan Bundy extension? In addition to these questions, the Angels will have to decide what to do with impending free agent Andrelton Simmons.
Simmons is in his fifth and final year with the Angels before his current contract ends. Simmons has been the best non-Trout Angels player during his five years with the club. In that time, Simmons had provided nearly league-average offense (97 wRC+) along with his elite defense at the shortstop position. The production, however, has tapered off after a near-elite-level stretch from 2017-2018 (10.4 fWAR and 105 wRC+). Multiple ankle injuries, significant time on the Injured List, and a decline in offensive production the past two years (2.1 WAR and 85 wRC+) have reduced his value. Add in the fact that he just turned 31 years old on Friday and there are reasons to be skeptical about bringing Simmons back.
That said, there is a higher floor because of the defense and Simmons may have played himself out of a bigger deal (not to mention the uncertainty around free agency during a pandemic and economic crisis). Simmons also could be an obvious candidate for a qualifying offer given the concerns about his age and recent offensive decline. On Friday, I posted a simple question to Twitter: should the Angels re-sign Andrelton Simmons?
Just over half of the 500+ voters were in favor of bringing Simmons back. I’m posing the same question here at Crashing the Pearly Gates. Are you in favor of re-signing Andrelton Simmons? Below are some of the pros-and-cons of bringing Simmons back.
- Simmons has a higher floor because of his defense, making him less of a risk.
- Simmons likely played himself out of a big contract, making him a potential candidate for a short-term deal.
- After the Tommy La Stella trade, the Angels have a need for middle infielders.
- A qualifying offer either brings back Simmons for one year at an elevated price or you get a compensation pick if he leaves.
- The Angels have a legitimate in-house shortstop replacement with David Fletcher.
- A 31-year-old with recent ankle injuries does lead to questions about how quickly he’ll age.
- The 2022 free agent class features Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, and Javier Baez. The Angels might be inclined to wait it out.